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Regional Workshop on Standard Operating Procedures for Tsunami Warning and Emergency Response for Northern and Eastern Indian Ocean Countries

A regional training workshop on tsunami warning and emergency response SOPs for Northern and Eastern Indian Ocean countries was held at the Mercure Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, 23-27 September 2013, hosted by the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG).  The workshop was attended by 32 participants from 9 countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor Leste.  The workshop was conducted by a team of 12 trainers from Australia, India, Indonesia, United States, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and IOC UNESCO. 

SOP Workshop Jakarta

The participants represented National Tsunami Warning Centres (NTWCs), Disaster Management Organisations (DMOs) and national media organisations.  The workshop programme included plenary lecture sessions, breakout group work, and site visits to the BMKG tsunami warning centre, the National Disaster Management Centre (BNPB) and a national media organisation (Metro TV). 

The primary objectives of the workshop were: to understand RTSP services and products; to understand the impact of the RTSP products on NTWC SOPs; to identify potential gaps and possible challenges for warning chain SOPs at the national level; to familiarise the electronic media with the RTSP service and develop/adapt SOPs for interfacing with the media; and to prepare for the IOWave14 Exercise, scheduled to take place in late 2014.  

The tabletop exercise on the last day of the workshop provided the participants with an opportunity to put into practice what they had learned.  The NTWC groups reported that they found it difficult to respond to requests for information during the first 30 minutes of the exercise.  On the other hand, the DMOs commented that they wanted more information, more quickly from the NTWCs.  The media groups commented that they wanted to receive more information faster and preferably at the same time or before sources of unofficial information. 

The inclusion of national media organisations in this workshop was particularly enlightening as it exposed several potential gaps in the flow of information between the media and other stakeholders. This highlighted the need for the media to develop SOPs that are harmonised and coherent with the SOPs of other national organisations in the warning chain. 

Funding for the workshop was provided from IOC Special Account funds contributed by the Government of Australia. It is planned to conduct a similar workshop for Western and Northern Indian Ocean countries in Hyderabad, India, in 2014.

Le programme relatif aux tsunamis – ce qu’il est

La côte indonésienne, entre Banda Aceh et Meulaboh, au lendemain du tremblement de terre et du tsunami du 26 décembre 2004. Photo Evan Schneider © UN Photo

L’UNESCO aide les États membres à renforcer leur capacité d’évaluation du risque de tsunami, à mettre en œuvre des systèmes d’alerte rapide aux tsunamis et à mieux préparer les populations exposées. Elle travaille étroitement avec les organismes nationaux et favorise la coopération
interorganismes et régionale. Des centres régionaux spécialisés fournissent une information relative aux tsunamis, laquelle, assortie d’une analyse nationale, constitue la base des alertes publiques. En outre, l’UNESCO encourage des démarches fondées sur les populations, à la base, par le biais de l’élaboration de plans d’intervention et de campagnes de sensibilisation qui impliquent fortement les établissements éducatifs et l’utilisateur final.

Hosted by:
UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE Oostende, Belgium
1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France | Tel: +33 1 45 68 39 84 | Fax: +33 1 45 68 58 12